These 4 Covid-19 vaccines are leading the race
Nations around the world have closed their borders and ordered a strict lockdown in order to avoid further pressure on the already overwhelmed medical care system. With more than 4.1 million cases globally and close to 283,876 fatalities, the COVID-19 graph continues to rise.
At the same time, scientists and researchers across the globe are racing against the time to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. As of now, almost 100 research groups are working round the clock to develop a potential vaccine for COVID-19.
How long does it take to develop a vaccine
It is important to note that a vaccine fit for humans usually takes years to develop as it goes through a series of human trials to test its safety and efficiency. The World Health Organization is tracking the potential vaccines for COVID-19 in the clinical evaluation
Here’s taking a look at the four potential vaccines which are leading the race:
The Oxford University
The University of Oxford has developed a vaccine candidate ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’ in under three months. The vaccine candidate uses a weakened strain of common cold virus (adenovirus) and is combined with the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus causing COVID-19).
This will enable the body to identify the spike protein of the novel coronavirus. The vaccine candidate is now in a clinical trial phase-1 and healthy volunteers have already been injected to check its safety and efficiency.
Massachusetts-based Moderna vaccine
In the US, the Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna is developing an RNA based vaccine in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 has already conducted phase 1 trials and is all set to begin phase 2 trials. The RNA vaccine works by entering the human cells and carries the molecular instructions to make the viral protein. Once, this viral protein is recognized by the body, the immune system of the body is triggered.
Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech
Chinese scientists are claiming to have successfully tested a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus in monkeys. To conduct this experiment, the researchers injected the monkeys with the potential vaccine PiCoVacc which is made by Sinovac Biotech, a Chinese biopharmaceutical company. The monkeys were later exposed to novel coronavirus and it was found that those injected with a dose of the potential vaccine were largely protected from the virus. The vaccine is currently undergoing human clinical trials.
Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine
US-based Pfizer pharmaceutical company and its German partner BioNtech are working together on four RNA vaccine candidates. They also began clinical trials of their vaccine candidate BNT162. Their vaccine candidate is based on specially designed messenger RNA (similar to the Moderna vaccine) and the trails for testing the vaccine are taking place in the USA and they plan to test the potential vaccine on 360 healthy volunteers.
What is the status of COVID-19 vaccine in India
As per recent reports, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has teamed up with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) for developing COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to note that the vaccine will use the virus strain isolated at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), in Pune. The strain has been successfully transferred from NIV to BBIL.
Moreover, the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is the world’s largest maker of vaccines by volume, has partnered with Oxford University to produce up to 60 million doses of a potential vaccine.
DNA-based vaccine by Inovio Pharmaceuticals
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company received 5 million dollars aid for developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Located in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, the pharmaceuticals has developed a potential vaccine in its San Diego lab and is all set to begin Phase 1 trial at the University of Pennsylvania. The vaccine is named INO-4800 and each volunteer will receive two doses of the relatively novel DNA-based vaccine candidate to check its efficiency and safety.